Articles | Volume 27, issue 1
01 May 2008
 | 01 May 2008

Population structures among epiphytal foraminiferal communities, Nevis, West Indies

Brent Wilson

Keywords: Thalassia, Syringodium, Caribbean, SHE Analysis

Abstract. The taxocene of live epiphytal foraminifera was for one year monitored monthly on six phytal substrates in shallow water (<1 m) in two bays around Nevis, NE Caribbean Sea. Mosquito Bay was subject to a nutrient flux from a leaking septic tank. Long Haul Bay was comparatively undeveloped. SHE Community Structure Investigations (SHECSIs) revealed that the populations on five plants had logarithmic series distributions of species abundances, the slopes of lnS vs. lnE for these five time-series being within −1±0.3. In three time-series, they were within −1±0.05.

Cluster analysis of twenty-five sediment samples in shallow water (<3 m) indicates that Nevis is largely surrounded by a single thanatacoenosis, for which SHECSI indicates a logarithmic series population structure. However, it is not possible to reconstruct perfectly the epiphytal population from the sediment thanatacoenosis. The thanatacoenosis included 40% allochthonous Amphistegina gibbosa, Archaias angulatus and Asterigerina carinata, washed in from offshore reefs, and few planorbulinids, although the latter dominates the biocoenosis on seagrass leaves in the backreef.